When Nicole Lanteri first began dating her future husband, she waited a month or two before helping him fix up his New York apartment. “I got him new furniture too and, unbeknownst to him, matched it to mine in case things worked out,” recalls Lanteri, who was a corporate lawyer at the time.
Things did work out. But after practicing law for five years, Lanteri decided to make a career change and dove into interior design. “I’ve always been into design and spatial arrangements and had an appreciation for how good space can make you feel,” she says. The couple moved to an Arlington loft which Lanteri decorated, and in 2009 she founded her eponymous design firm.
She did her first job for free. “It was an amazing feeling to help someone with their space,” she recalls. “My client cried, just like on TV.”
Lanteri brings a playful, modern aesthetic to her work. “I make each space feel like the client,” she reflects. “One of the best compliments I can get is when someone says, ‘This doesn’t look a designer came in and did my house. This looks like the best version of me.’”
Interior Design: Nicole Lanteri, Nicole Lanteri Design, Arlington, Virginia.